After eight months of sewage frequently spilling onto Karen Road properties and roads, Illiondale residents can begin breathing a sigh of relief. Community members believe that the installation of a fibre optic cable in a sewerage pipe parallel to Karen Road is the cause of the blockages.
The cable was installed in November 2017 by LinkAfrica.
Following the concerns raised by the community, LinkAfrica told the NEWS on June 7 that the cable will be removed from the sewerage pipe.
The head of LinkAfrica’s Gauteng region, Hennie Pretorius, said LinkAfrica used patented technology to install the cable in the sewerage line.
“The technology reduces the amount of digging required and reduces the damage to roads, pavements and private property,” said Pretorius.
Through this technology, LinkAfrica has installed an extensive number of fibre cables in sewerage pipes throughout South Africa.
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“LinkAfrica and the Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality have an agreement that governs the installation and ongoing maintenance of cables in sewers.”
Pretorius said that since it was first implemented, the technology has proven to be successful and less intrusive than conventional digging methods.
He said although there is a cable in the sewerage line along Karen Road, the cause of the blockage is unknown.
“The cable’s installation can’t conclusively be attributed to the blockages,” said Pretorius.
Pretorius added that root ingress and deteriorating infrastructure could also be blocking the sewerage line.
He said in the rare event that a sewerage line is problematic, LinkAfrica works closely with municipal engineers to try and resolve the problem.
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“In this case, we have agreed with the municipality that we will remove the cable from the sewer due to the frequent blockages experienced.”
In order to remove the cable, LinkAfrica first had to obtain permission from the City of Ekurhuleni.
Once the section of cable has been removed, it will be buried in the pavement.
Pretorius said the removal of the cable from the sewerage line should be complete by June 15.
“In the meantime, the sewer line will be monitored and maintained on a daily basis to ensure no further blockages occur.”
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If a blockage does occur in a sewerage line where the cables have been installed, Pretorius said LinkAfrica’s staff unblock the sewerage pipe.
Pretorius apologised for the disturbances and inconvenience this incident caused the community.
“LinkAfrica is committed to providing a quality and safe service to telecoms service providers who in turn provide services to millions of subscribers in South Africa.”